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“Our favorite place in Mexico”

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El Dorado Maroma, by Karisma
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Playa Maroma
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 8 April 2011

We have been a lot of places in Mexico and around the world. This is the best of all. We had issues with the smoking policy as I have COPD and asthma. I told the management of my concerns and they were accomodated immediately. Great place. Great staff. Just the best!

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank mommomgrampa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 April 2011

For a little perspective my wife and I have been traveling to Mexico 2 times or so a year for the past 15 years. We have tried many resorts over the years on both the Pacific side and the Caribbean side. This trip was divided between El Dorado Maroma and The Grand Velas (Grand Class section of the resort). To be fair to El Dorado this review will not comment on Grand Velas and focus solely on our experience at El Dorado Maroma. I will also post a review and photos on Grand Velas in case you might be interested. We have all seen the scenic photos posted within Trip Advisors and rightfully so. I will post a few more of those along with some photos of what you might run into on a daily basis.

Check-In/Rooms -

Resort Grounds - They are what you would expect and see at most middle of the road and lower upper end resorts along Rivera Maya. What is meant by this is they are well kept and tropical in nature. I would not however say that they rise to the level of some of the other higher end resorts nearby. Included in that for comparison might include the Mandarin Oriental , Secrets Tulum, Mayakoba and the Grand Velas.

There is also a series of new “Presidential” suites being built with ocean views. With that comes the typical construction noise during the day we have all heard at different resorts in the past. No clue on a completion date but a guess would be at least another month before they are completed. In reality the noise is not all that bad.

Rooms – We stayed in the newer section of the hotel where the blocks of rooms run from the 300’s to the 800’s with the 300’s being closer to the ocean and moving back away from the ocean from there. We were given room 741 originally when we checked in on a Friday at around 4:15 pm or so. We were taken to our room by someone who was on their first day on the job. She was a little unfamiliar with the property and took us to the wrong room. After getting somewhat lost she asked us to wait on the walkway while she went to get some help. 5 minutes or so later she came back with someone who was more familiar with the property. The entrance to the 700 block of rooms is located fairly close to a large maintenance building that has a loud a/c unit running what seemed at all times. This noise certainly took away from the hoped sereneness. We were then escorted to room 741. The interior of the room itself was fine, nicely appointed and as advertised for a honeymoon suite. The problem arose when you walked out onto the deck area. The deck did provide a view of the ocean but it also provided an outstanding view of the roof of the Saboras restaurant. On this roof was a very loud a/c unit that again took away from a relaxing and restful feel. You will run into this issue with any 3rd or 4th floor room in the 700’s or 800’s. The lower 1st and 2nd floor suites had the noise from the roof top a/c unit masked by a water feature located on the side of the Saboras restaurant. In order to avoid the overbearing noise try to make sure you get a room in the 300’s-600’s. All up we wish we would have saved the money on the room upgrade to the honeymoon suite and stayed in the Mi-Hotelito suites. It seemed to us that those had a much cooler vibe to them.

We asked to be moved but were told everyone had already checked in and the hotel was 100% booked with not ONE open or empty room. We were then told and we could move but not until Monday (3 days later). What we found interesting is that over the next 3 days we saw numerous guests checking in and out. Logically we felt if the resort really wanted to move us they would have prior to having to wait 3 days. However that being said, we were moved on Monday to suite 522 which was nice in the sense that it provided a better view of the ocean, pool and without the incessant a/c noise. Thanks (I guess) goes to the resort management team for at least making some of our time them and the deck portion of our suite useable.

Internet – $10 for 1 hour, $15 a day or $70 for the week. Tried to buy 1hour but could not get it to work. Had to call the concierge for assistance. At first we received some pushback stating $10 for 1 hour was not one of the options available for internet purchase even though we were describing exactly what was showing up as options as you tried to purchase access. After 10 minutes or so of the concierge attempting technical support with no success, we just gave up trying to gain access. No reason a resort that advertises itself as an upscale resort should not provide free internet access.

Pools – As many others have mentioned there are 2 pools located within the resort.

Main pool – The main pool was fine and provide a cool but not overly cool retreat from the sun. There is somewhat limited lounge chair and bed seating at the main pool with the only area really open to this coming on one side of the pool. If you study the various photos of the main pool you will find this to bear itself out. We found on most of the mornings that the lounge beds were all taken/reserved with towels, books, bags etc. fairly early by folks in an effort to mark their territory.

Smaller pool (by the 24 bar) – This smaller pool was nice but a little chilly for our tastes. Plenty of shade with ample seating as far as we could tell when we walked from beach to a drink.

Pool/Beach service – Service was provided for drinks only and what would be expected in terms of speed and frequency. It should be noted that there is NO food service of any kind at the pools or beach. We have never stayed at an advertised 5 star resort that did not provide some fashion of food service at the pool/beach ranging from a full menu to a snack menu. Note to the resort management……………fix this!

Pool towels – The pool towels for the most part have seen their better days. Several were fading and frayed. Not just 1 or 2 but just about every time you grabbed some towels you would get at least 1 that was badly frayed. Additionally, there were several times during our stay that the resort seemed to run out of pool towels. I witnessed 1 instance where a couple voiced a complaint about there being no pool towels and they were given bath towels to use instead. Really unacceptable for a resort that represents itself as a truly top notch resort.

Beach - The beach was indeed very nice! Fine sugary sand and warm turquoise waters. One can wade at least 100 yards out to the large sandbags with the water not getting more than waist deep. It appears this is accomplished by an everyday dredging operation by a resort staff member trying to move sand around in swimming area located directly in front of the resort. All up one of the nicer beach areas we have been to.

Beach seating – Always ample beach chairs and umbrellas. Not so can be said with the beach beds. I am an early riser (6am) and found that most, if not all, of these beds were reserved by that time. I would suggest that if you plan on wanting to enjoy this seating option on the beach you get up early.

Maroma Marina – This “activity” area is located directly next to the hotel. Around mid morning the train of tours start to come through from other resorts to enjoy what the marina has to offer. Included, but not limited to this was snorkeling, diving, fishing, sailing, horseback riding, waverunners and small 2 person speed boats. So around mid morning you will get to enjoy the drone of engine noise for the rest of the day as the waverunners and speed boats ramble in and out of the marina and back and forth in front of the resort.

Gym – Small but with decent equipment where if you try hard enough you can get a adequate workout. Worked out most mornings and rarely ever saw another person. For any runners out there that prefer the road to the sand, it is approximately 2.5 km’s (one way) from the entrance of the resort to the lobby entrance. Good road with little traffic.

Food – Overall the food served in the restaurant was some of the best we have experienced at an AI/GI resort. None of the restaurants required reservations. Really the only downside in our minds was the room service menu for dinner. For dinner it was very limited with only 4 real options to choose from. Breakfast options were plentiful and fine.

Overall – The resort certainly had its positives and a few areas of needed improvement. We would consider returning for another stay at some point in the future but would certainly try the Mi-Hotelito suites.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank JDVP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KarismaHotelsResorts, Guest Relations Manager at El Dorado Maroma, by Karisma, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2011

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for sharing your experiences regarding your stay at our resort. I’d like you to know that your feedback and all feedback left by our guests is truly appreciated and your comments will certainly be shared with the entire team.

We are happy to hear that you enjoyed our Gourmet Inclusive concept and we have taken into consideration what you have mentioned. We enjoy hearing the opinions of our guests so that we can continue to make improvements and strive for perfection.

On behalf of El Dorado Maroma, we'd like to thank you for sharing your feedback with us.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2011

El Dorado Maroma is an exquisite resort. Yes, the water is turquoise, the rooms are lovely and the food is terrific. BUT, what makes this resort unique is the staff. No request is too small or insignificant. From arrival to leavetaking, the comfort of the guest is all that matters. Carmina, the head concierge keeps a discreet eye on everyone; while Diana and Paulina must walk 10 miles a day to insure the comfort of all. The wait staff is attentive and charming. Remember the slogan, " Where everyone knows your name"? That's Maroma-----We can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: If available, you can upgrade upon arrival.
  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank jaybird66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2011

Our perfect, weeklong stay at El Dorado Maroma was in one word "Unforgetable"! We loved the ambiance of our Mi Hotelito 2nd floor room. The first thing we did was tie up the curtains on the balcony to reveal the breathtaking view of the aqua ocean framed by lush tropical vegetation. Many moonlite evenings were spent star gazing on the outdoor bed listening to the Caribbean wind blow through the palms. We could seriously plan our next visit around a full moon! Each morning was greeted with such anticipation to have a delightful breakfast poolside at Sabores or beachside at Pepito's. Then it was straight to the beach with unlimited selections of beach beds, recliners and umbrellas. So nice not to have a crowd anywhere, very easy to find quiet and secusion. This is the perfect beach for walking also, even getting caught in a short downpour didn't dampen our spirits. Different themed lunches at Pepito's left us stuffed and ready for an afternoon's nap again on the beach. The gorgeous, immaculate grounds are quiet, romantic and dimly lite in the evening, perfect for strolling after dinner. Can't imagine any vacationing couple not falling in love all over again during a stay here, we have recommended the resort to everyone inquiring about our vacaton. We loved our waiters, hostesses, maids........very much service oriented (too many to mention, they were all fantastic). Be sure to check out the water before sunset to watch the stingrays. They come very close to the beach and are beautiful creatures to observe. Also, we recommend to morning trip to Tulum, thanks Luis. Departure day was sad, but we will return!! Our one complaint of a noisey air conditioner in our room was quickly solved when a new unit was installed. Small incidental suggestions?? Warm up the water in the "24" swim up pool and lose the American music in the restaurants, we are in Mexico and want Mexican music............the only sense not completely and happily engaged was our hearing!! Otherwise carryon EDM......we love you :)

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank ttucrot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2011

El Dorado Maroma is an amazing resort. The service, food and accomodations were excellent! But the staff was truly exceptional! The Maroma beach is lovely and the water is so warm. For those that enjoy understated and quiet elegance, this is the place for you. And, we never went hungry. We would like to thank a number of staff members for making our stay so very enjoyable: Isidro, Natale, Paola, Thelma, Diego, Jonas, Fernando, Javier, Rafael, Ruben, Ale, Daniel plus the others who we have not mentioned. Your dedication did not go unnoticed!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Cathy5354
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2011

First when we got there we were told that they overbooked and we had to go to the El dorado royale, which at first was a bummer since it was 6:00pm by that time. we were tired and hungry, but had to go by taxi to the other hotel. BUT we loved it there so much, it was hard to have to leave again. after three days we had to come back and pack up again and then unpack and kinda lost part of the day there. they tried to make it up to us with free spa etc, but still i thought that overbooking is not nice when it happens to you. we heard from others that they too were bumped. they say they do it a lot which i think is a bad practice for them.anyways the maroma beach is by far the best beach ever. soft silky sand and a good wide beach with many chairs and beds and a great walking beach for miles. the staff are friendly and can come up with witty jokes and great humor. very attentive to your needs. food was pretty good, although i found the El dorado royale to be better and have a better selection as well. the food for some of the selections especially the japanese rice mixture was extremely salty and the italian mashed potatoes a salt block. but otherwise very good food. i would recommend the cooks to NOT add so much SALT and have their guests add more if they wish.the big pool is great as is the bars and the rooms have comfy beds and very clean. the small pool we found to have a sewer smell that came in whiffs with the wind, and it was not from the mangroves. i agree with the other guy who didnt understand why no one else reported the smell. we didnt go back to the small pool after that. too bad really. also i did get sick and although very careful, i got sick the very next day i was there. i stayed on rice and toast and bananas for the rest of our stay. the staff was very kind to me about that but still. :( there were a few others i talked to that had the same thing. anyways, my hubby loved the jet sleds and my massage over the ocean was very nice as well. the beach at El dorado Royale was rocky and not walkable BUT they did have an amazing wide walkway all along the ocean and all around the premises and we took bikes for a few hours as well. i think if i were to go back it would be the Royale for the beautiful site and the flowers and walkways and the great Food! it was a bit more elegant and super clean and just more a feeling of being in a Fabulous place!!! if you only want a great beach then go to the maroma. ps. went to secrets capri twice and i still think its much better there too! :) but i still enjoyed the people, the staff, and the warm sun and cool pools and God's beautiful creation!

Room Tip: bottom floor with a swim out pool!
  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank cappacino77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KarismaHotelsResorts, Guest Relations Manager at El Dorado Maroma, by Karisma, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2011

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for your review of your stay at El Dorado Maroma. We are thrilled to hear that our staff catered to your every need and provided you with the personal, upscale service that we are renowned for. We are very sorry that you experienced a change to your original accommodation.

I’d like you to know that without the specific details of your reservation, we are unable to identify why you experienced this. However, we are very happy to know that you enjoyed your stay at our sister resort, El Dorado Royale. If you wish to discuss this further, please feel free to contact us at customerservices@karismamexico.com

Once again, we'd like to thank you for your valued and honest feedback.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2011

I stayed at EDM for 5 nights last month. As everyone has written, it is on a beautiful beach. There are no other resorts in either direction, so the beach is uncrowded, quiet and peaceful. I also liked the size of this resort -- only 72 rooms, so even if they are sold out, that would be only 150 guests on site. The grounds were nice and it was well maintained. And I loved the beach beds!

I was disappointed in the food -- yes it looks gourmet, but it is not gourmet quality. Probably the best item I ate all week was a burrito at lunch and I loved the green juice at breakfast. But the dinners were disappointing -- especially the Mayan night when I had this pounded flat piece of tough pork.

As far as the service, I was traveling alone and it seems when you are a single traveler, you don't get the same sort of service that a couple or family does -- it's something that the travel industry needs to work on in general -- but there were a few times where I felt invisible (waited about 40 minutes one day for someone to bring me a drink at the beach, when everyone else was getting served, etc.).

The rooms were nice, but not "architectural digest" nice. I loved the bed on the balcony and the infinity pool was nice. But I was on the 2nd floor and the palm trees block the view of the beach, so if you want a beach view, you need to be on the 3rd floor or higher. They mention that they fill up the mini-fridge each day with drinks and snacks, but the snacks consisted of 1 candy bar and 1 package of pretzels.

I was looking for a quiet, peaceful few days on the beach and I definitely got that here. However, it's not necessarily a luxurious resort, so if you are looking for a grand lobby, beautiful restaurants, a romantic beachside bar, etc., this isn't it. But if you want something quiet and the beach is the most important thing, than you will definitely get that here. I would go back to EDM, but I may try another place next time just to see what I would get somewhere else. The Zoetry is also a small resort, but looks a little more upscale, so I may try that one next time. But EDM was nice.

Room Tip: Book a room on the 3rd floor for an ocean view
  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled solo
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Thank BagsPacked58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Dorado Maroma, by Karisma

Address: Carretera Federal Cancun-Tulum Km 55.3, Playa Maroma, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly El Dorado Spa Resorts, by Karisma)
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Maroma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 Romantic Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 Spa Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 Luxury Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 Green Hotel in Playa Maroma
Price Range: £309 - £710 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — El Dorado Maroma, by Karisma 4.5*
Number of rooms: 99
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on one of Travel Channels Top Ten Beaches in the World, El Dorado Maroma is an upscale, exclusive Caribbean resort for romantic couples and active vacationers alike. Intimate and beachfront. Rustic and luxurious at the same time. the hotel provides outstanding services and gourmet cuisine. Receive personalized butler and concierge service, arrive with style with a champagne check in. It is rustic, because it is not pretentious and was built using traditional materials and with the philosophy of embracing the bounty of the nature and the local environment. It lies directly on the beach of Maroma, considered to be one of the best beaches in the world by independent reviewers, including the Discovery Channel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Dorado Maroma, a Beachfront Resort, By Karisma Hotel Playa Del Carmen
El Dorado Maroma Hotel
El Dorado Maroma Resort

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